Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.42 7 Apr 2021


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French Open organisers are set to attract the ire of the WTA by having exclusively male evening sessions at Roland-Garros. 

This year's clay court Grand Slam is due to get underway on May 23.

The recent introduction of a retractable roof to Roland-Garros' main Philippe-Chatrier court means organisers can extend the schedule into the Paris night.

The French Open wouldn't be the first to implement a 'night session'. The Australian Open and the US Open both have sessions that get underway around 7pm local time.

These have made for some floodlit epics in both Melbourne and Flushing Meadows.

According to RMC Sport, there will be ten evening sessions on offer to Roland-Garros patrons, starting on Sunday May 23 and running until Wednesday June 2, each starting at 9pm local time.

However, all evening sessions will be the preserve of men's players.

It's not clear if the exclusion of women's players is a request from broadcasters Amazon, or simply an issue of timing.

Regardless, it means Serena Williams' latest attempt to equal Margaret Court's Grand Slam record will play out in daylight hours. Similarly, the likes of world no.1 Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka and home favourites like Caroline Garcia and Fiona Ferro will be deprived of the nighttime spotlight.

The move is unlikely to prove popular among WTA representatives.

French Open organisers will just be hoping the competition goes ahead as planned. The country is unlikely to emerge from lockdown until three-weeks before the event.

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said on Sunday, "We are in discussion with them (the French Tennis Federation) to see if we should change the date to coincide with a possible resumption of all sports and major events."

She added, "Today, although high-level sport has been preserved, we try to limit the risks of clusters, of spreading the virus within professional sports."

European Tour make “sensible decision” to postpone French Open


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Covid-19 France French Open Roland Garros Roxana Maracineanu Sexism Tennis

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